The Black Phoenix Gang
- Walter Black – Oathborn Soldier
- Vice Black – Slothborn Soldier
- Kheign Black – Fearborn Head of Security
- Archie Black – Oathborn President of Gang
- Flinch Black – Shadowborn Dealer
- Violet Black – Warborn Poisoner
- Nick The Pig (Mr. Nicolas) – Boss of St. Jabber’s Mound
- Chopper – A talking feral dog (now deceased)
- Ghost – A pit bull
- Antonio – Mech Salesman
- Various Scientists/Tinkers and Madmen
- Umbruk, The Deity of Vengeance, Jealousy and Pride
If you haven’t read the Setup post for this session, I would advise doing that first, as it explains my notes/encounters/thinkings.
Well. This was a crazy session. And the best one I’ve had in a while, actually. We played for 9 hours, so this might get long!
I have a few housekeeping items to discuss and then we can get to the recap.
Firstly, I have been thinking a lot about the premise of the campaign, and how its handcuffed me a bit. The conceit that this is all a flashback, and that the party can’t die looked good on paper, but in reality, it was a trap – at least that was my thinking. This is illustrated by Walter’s agreement to go with Moon to be judged by the Running Fang. Now if he had died, and I had to have The Woman Who Always Smokes say “Lying” to him, and redirect the narrative to something else, then that sucks all the drama out of the player’s choice. And I didn’t like that at all. So I brought this up with the party and said I was thinking of maybe ditching the campaign premise altogether, but (funny enough), Jack (who plays Walter) gave me a good alternative. Since the issue was death being a threat again, and wanting to keep the integrity of the premise alive, maybe if someone dies then the Man in the White Coat berates the player for making up a personality to hide behind, and that the true personality should come out (this would be the new character, brought in at the same level as the party, which is something I never do, but in this campaign, it fits). It was an elegant solution, if not 100% what I wanted. It still means that there’s this weird disconnect if that same player loses another character and has to be told off again, but I can overlook that. So. Problem (mostly) solved.
Secondly, Katherine (who plays Violet) returned to the campaign after missing the past two sessions. You may remember that she was cursed by a druid. I remember this about an hour into the session and I was pissed at myself. So I retconned the fact that the Running Fang cured her. Bullshit solution. Annoyed at myself, but there you go.
Thirdly, Mike (who plays Flinch) is leaving Melbourne (and Australia) in a few weeks and he will only be with us for one more session. Which sucks. Nice guy and a decent roleplayer. So going to have to figure a way to have him exit the narrative with some panache. Our next session is the 25th, so I’ll have some time.
Lastly, you may (or may not) remember this passage from the Setup post:
Right, so you might not remember this, but back in the first post, I said that I gave the party a handful of brainstorm sketches I did of the layout of the city, where all the districts were, etc… This was to represent their fragmented and unreliable memories, and was pretty cool, I think. So they are gonna be real confused about where they actually are, if they even understand where they are, but if you are following along, then you’re gonna have to sit behind the shield with me 🙂 So here’s two maps that are true. The first is the district overview from a purely geographical point-of-view. The second is the city with the Jumble taken into account. Stuff is slightly moved around and new areas are listed (like The Glom and The Breaks, Wedic’s Court and Upper Swagger for instance). Galron is three times the size of London, roughly 4000 square km, and it boggles my mind when I think about it. The party is going to be dropped in the western “tip” where the district narrows down between Trenchtown and Bogwall. They are weeks away from home.
The party ended up finding a cartographer’s guild, so I let them see these maps, and while they have no detail on them, as far as streets or street locations are concerned, they did go a long way into helping the party to figure out a general path to get back to Crud. It was a spur of the moment decision after they asked if there was a place to buy a map in West Metal, and I said, “Yes”, and decided that letting them see these maps would be kind of cool and at least give me a direction, and that would let me build ahead of them. I’ll discuss this more when it comes up in the recap.
LET SLIP THE DOGS OF WAR
18th Grumbles – Washday
I reminded the party of the explosion at Pig Manor, and they openly celebrated. Moon sent a runner to find out the situation and reported that not only Pig Manor, but all the surrounding buildings were completely destroyed and all that was left was a smoking crater. Archie let out a whoop, because his divinely-declared vendetta had come to fruition.
In this moment, Archie suddenly finds himself walking on a field of bones, under a night sky with no stars. To his right, walking apace with him is a man with long stringy hair who hides his face except for one eye. I spoke in the most gravelly, creepy voice I could muster – “Your. Oath. Has. Been. Fulfilled. You. May. Ask. A. Boon. Of. Me.” and then vanishes and Archie is back in the real world. He just met Umbruk, the Redeemer, deity of Vengeance (and Jealousy and Pride). He was pretty blown away and tucked that boon away for later.
The party is escorted by Moon to Dogshit, into the heart of the district and into the old Goblinball stadium. Moon declares the Black Phoenix’s agreement to run the Gauntlet, to a mixed reception. They are given the Running Fang gauntlets that they must keep on during the entire run. Anyone who sees these will not aid the party in any capacity or suffer the wrath of Running Fang. They are given potions to drink which knocks them out.
They awaken on 19th Grumbles – Titheday, in the streets of the far West portion of West Metal, an industrial/scientific district. They have no hangovers, and they have all their gear. It is very cold and raining. It is just after midnight with a full moon.
I described the area.
Towering up and all around you are multi-story buildings, some 6, 8, 12 stories tall, nearly crowding out the sky, and all are covered with walkways, balconies, half-staircases, ladders, poles, ropes, pulley systems, rails, and every conceivable type of window and door-type. The street you are in is crooked and short, bending at both ends around sharp corners. Nearly every window is aglow with light and there is noise. Noise like you have never heard before. The pounding of machines, the grinding screech of metal, the chug-a-chug of pistons and the greasy squeals of gears and cogs. The sound is so loud you can barely hear one another and the ground is vibrating and setting your teeth on edge and your bones ache. Tiny creatures scamper to-and-fro, on wires strung across the buildings, and thin planks, or sometimes leaping or flying here-and-there. The smells that assault you are myriad – chemical astringents, and acrid burning, steam, bitter and sweet winds, and the smell of oil most of all. Signage is all around you, and logos, too, and only Vice can read any of signs. The streets are strangely deserted.
Those tiny creatures are Booka and they are messengers. Nearly every one here has one. They are the internet of West Metal, carrying information and resources from place to place.
The party is illiterate except for Vice. I read off a half-dozen names of places here – simple placards and signs declaring this workshop, or that tool-and-die, or such-and-such’s laboratory.
The party was a bit overwhelmed. In Crud, the only building that wasn’t single story was Pig Manor. It was a village compared to this insane city-scape, full of steam, smoke, noxious fumes and noise. They debated for a bit and then decided to get off the street. The fact that there was no one around was freaking them out, so Archie climbed up one of the buildings from the outside, maybe a third of the way up and realized that all the windows he was seeing looked in on labs, workshops, and studies and there were people in all of them. He banged on one of the windows and a mad scientist, with a stovepipe on his head came rushing over, ripped the window open and screamed in a Scottish brogue, “NO TIME! NO TIME! CALCULATIONS! EXPECTATIONS! EQUIDISTANT EQUATIONS! NO TIME!” and slammed the window shut again. Everyone laughed. He tried another window and it was a dour woman in a long black coat and tall peaked cap scribbling math problems on a blackboard. She took ages to respond and Archie pulled out his sword and threatened to come in there, and she finally relented. She looked down her nose at him and gawked when he demanded to know where he was. She said “One-Nine-Four, Coppertop Way, Lower”. He got angry and said, “WHERE’S THAT?!” and she said, “West Metal”. He didn’t know where that was. He demanded to know where Crud was, and she said she never heard of it. He asked where he could buy a map and she told him at the Scribbler’s Guild, over on Forge Avenue, Lower. She shut the window and he, and the rest of the party, climbed to the roof of the six-story building.
The rooftops I had not even considered. I didn’t have a single damn idea what was on the rooftops! SHIT! So I did what I always did. What all DMs do. I started making shit up.
This rooftop is covered with antennas, metal contraptions and all manner of things that make no sense to you. There are tiny mechs rolling on wheels and treads all over, holding up probes and spinning tiny dishes on their heads, and if they are making any noise, its too loud to tell. There are 4 buildings next to this one that you could get to – 3 are the same height and one is 8-stories. The gaps between the buildings are too far to jump.
The party decides to scrounge to make a bridge, something they can still carry with them. They find enough scrap and wire to fashion a makeshift bridge and lower it over the gap. They run across. Great. Another rooftop! (I was going to find out this was the first of many)
This roof has row upon row of glass tanks up on metal stands. They cover the entire roof. Inside each tank is a murky green liquid, too dark to see what, if anything is in the tank. A small boy, on small stilts, is all the way across the roof from you. He has a canvas bag in one hand and a long pair of tongs in the other. He is reaching into the bag with the tongs and pulling out scraps of meat, and laying one on the surface of the liquid in each tank. As soon as he does, the liquid moves, almost like a cephalopod, and sloshes around the tank, and wraps around the meat.
Half the party wants to hide and the other half wants to interrogate the kid. While they are furiously whispering, the kid sees them and tries to run (on stilts). He is dropped with an arrow from Flinch, and Violet rushes in to finish him off. They have a hilarious debate about maybe taking these 2′ stilts, and arguing why that was a great idea and why that was a stupid idea. Violet bravely uses the tongs with a few of her glass vials and takes three samples of the green liquid and corks them. I said there was nothing but 12-story buildings around them, and so they get in this massive debate about how to take the bridge with them. The talk about lashing it to them and climbing in tandem. I asked them to show me how they would do that, and it was good for some laughs. They debated a three-man solution, and they talked about lashing it to all of them, on long wires, and having it dangle beneath them as they climbed. Pretty much every solution was countered by me saying that the buildings were so strangely constructed, with all the walkways, stairs, rails, pulleys and whatnot, that climbing in tandem (or more) with this bridge just wasn’t going to work as the “terrain” was too wonky. So they came up with a fab idea, which I was going to allow, and that was to take the bridge apart and everyone carried a piece on their back, but then they decided, fuck it, lets climb back down to the street. Ok. Simple enough.
The Roof, The Roof, The Roof is Really Trippy
They found themselves on Mithral Way and followed it for a while in the vague direction that the dour lady pointed them in. I described the street as getting narrower and narrower, to the point where it was going to be single file through two 12-story buildings that were only 5 or so feet apart. Well. They didn’t like that at all. “Sounds like a good place for an ambush”, said Violet, and so they climbed one of the 12-story buildings. Yay. A new rooftop!
Whenever I’m pressed for ideas, I do something weird. Something that I don’t know much about, I just lay out the weird premise and roll with it, hoping that I can make sense of it as I go. I’m pretty good with doing that, and I think I pulled this one off.
I said this:
This rooftop is dominated by a glass pyramid, the glass dirty and covered in bird droppings. All around the rim of the roof are large planters, and the plants in them are dead. The pyramid itself also appears to be filled with dead plants, like a neglected greenhouse. The rooftop of the building next door, across the tiny gap, has the exact same layout, except the pyramid is lit and the plants inside and the plants in the planters are all alive.
They got Keanu on me for a moment and then started to search.
So everyone starts to search except Flinch. He decides he’s gonna go check out the lit pyramid on the other roof. I told the others that when he jumped across the gap, he vanished.
I told Flinch that as soon as he leaped to the other roof, the scene changed. The pyramid was unlit, all the plants now looked dead, and there was a long haired, robed figure in front of one of the planters, and the figure was watering and pruning the dead plants. Flinch said, “Uh. Hello?”
The figure turned around, and it was a woman, except she was a rotting corpse and one of her eyes was a red ruby. This was my weird corruption of an Eye of Fear and Flame (sorry but http://www.lomion.de didn’t have stats on this, which is weird, cause they have everything). I changed the fireball to a “laser beam” and didn’t bother with the black gem for an eye.
The creature attacked by shooting a laser beam and missed. Flinch asked if he could target the eye. Now 5e doesn’t have called shots, and I really hated them in 2e, because my players abused the hell out of it, but this seemed like a mostly one-off, so I told him he would be at a -4 to hit. He rolled a crit. So I had the gem explode, killing the creature and tossing him back across the roof gap.
During all this, the party found a hidden trapdoor next to the pyramid. They found a poison needle trap and a basic lock. They were debating all this and thinking about looking for Flinch, when Archie tossed a bunch of wire across the gap, thinking maybe he could pull Flinch back, and at the same time, Flinch comes flying back anyway. I said that the party saw him reappear. They peppered him with questions and he told them everything. I said that the other roof looked lit again. They debated for a minute and then decided to cross over to the other roof.
Here’s where I deepened the weirdness.
I said as soon as they jumped across, that everything still looked lit and healthy, and so did the other rooftop. They found the exact same trapdoor, with the exact same trap and the exact same lock. I said they didn’t need to bother rolling, as they had already disarmed/unlocked it once already on the other roof. They decided to open the trapdoor and descend into the building. Violet said she was going to hang out on the roof and brew some quick poisons. Cool.
They dropped into a crooked hallway, lined with doors and signs. They picked one at random, and Vice grabbed the handle, and he got hit with a shock of electricity (sound familiar?) and then tried again with a piece of meat from the canvas back they looted as some kind of insulation? The meat got cooked. He got zapped again. I laughed. So they moved to another door and found it open. The sign, Vice read, was “Ringhover Toolworks”.
The door opens into a small room, with workbenches lining the walls, covered with tools, spare parts, and half-completed drawings. Opposite the door, on the far wall, is a large window and in front of that is another workbench, and figure sitting on a tall stool with its back to you. They have their head down and appear to be doing something with their hands, but you cannot see what it is.
They called out “Hello?” and the figure turned around and they saw an older man, wearing workman’s leathers – pockets and straps filled with all sorts of small tools. On his head was what I described as like the old multi-lens contraptions that optometrists used to use (which is apparently called a phoropter). The man looked annoyed and said, “Yes? Did NPC who’s name I’ve forgotten send you?”
They totally agreed and he said, “About time!” and starts packing a large satchel with tools and tells them to “Leave the envelope on the desk when you leave.” Archie said, “No, no, you are supposed to have an envelope for us.” I was confused at first (still am, a bit) and had the old man be confused too. They went back and forth for a minute and then someone, I forget who, said, “Fuck it” and killed the dude (might have been Flinch). Vice took his phoropter and I said that he could use “Use Magic Device” (part of a package of custom skills I gave them a few sessions back) to try and operate the thing. He kicked some serious ass and I said the phoropter had 3 settings. One was a night vision, one was infrared, and one was extreme magnification, not quite microscope level, but close. He was smiling. His first real treasure, as he had given the “rpg bow” that they looted from the Banghammer to Flinch, since ranged was his go-to.
They took the satchel as well, and Archie added a hammer to his arsenal.
They climbed back to the roof and descended to the streets below. This took a little while, as they were having trouble finding clear “lines” down. I had them roll occasional climb checks, but for the most part, I didn’t bother. There was no need, as the buildings were practically made to climb.
They kept heading in the direction of the Scribber’s Guild and got lucky. I described a floating hologram outside a large building in the shape of the map. The place was closed, however, and they decided to climb up and camp on the roof. Before they could do that they were startled to hear a voice call out behind them, “OY! What’s this then?”
This was a street gang called The Wrecking Ball. I guess I should explain what’s going on with the streets. This is probably the safest district in Galron. Folks here mostly keep to themselves and their own projects, research, and mad investigations. There is a curfew in place that is enforced by an unseen group known only as The Spark, and they deploy mechs and flying drones to ensure the streets are kept clear. The street gangs that roam here are exempt from this rule and mostly fight one another and harass the locals that can’t afford security mechs for themselves or decent locks and other protection. I was down for a fight, but the party held up their gauntlets and for some inexplicable reason, I had the gang back off. Why did I do this? I don’t know. A split-second decision that was a big mistake. They thought no one would fight them because they were running the gauntlet, and I couldn’t say anything. I just silently cursed myself. I have an out, though. Its only the gangs in West Metal who won’t fight. The rest don’t care. This will come up again later with a gang called The Wrench. Stupid me. Anyway.
The Wrecking Ball fucked off, the party climbed and rested.
Men (and a Woman) of Mayhem
The party climbs down and the Scribbler’s Guild is now open.
Entering the vast space you see a circular room with a high domed ceiling. Every available inch of wallspace is covered in maps, most of them overlapping. Dominating the center of the room is a massive wooden table and chairs, and some 40-50 people are hunched over documents and writing tools. Each guildsman has a headlamp to cut the gloom, and just out from the walls are racks and racks of scrolled paper.
The party fans out and Archie does the talking. Always a good sign. They want to buy a map of Galron, but the young guildsman just laughs and says that there isn’t just a single map, there are many, and the cost is prohibitive. So after a lot of talk and haggle and debate and discussion, the party agrees to buy a less detailed map (the ones I referenced way up at the beginning of this post) and then decides to murder the guildsman and just take it.
This group, eh?
The other guildsman flee, and 2 Paper Golems step out of the walls, flanking the doors. I just made up some stats on-the-fly and we were off and running. Someone chucked a headlamp at the wall and the maps caught flame. I think this must have been Vice, because he spent the rest of the combat throwing them at the Golems too, and succeeded in catching one alight.
The party gets into this scrap with Flinch outside and the rest inside. Flinch drops. Fails a death saving throw and then stabilizes on his own. Violet wanted to administer first aid, but I told her that if she fucked up, Flinch would start dying again, so they just put the Golems down and fled. The guild is aflame. Not good.
Then they started talking about finding a path back to Crud. They had a long talk about this and traced out a route that would mostly avoid the Jumble. I had to keep myself from laughing. Then they started talking about a faster way back. They didn’t have much money, a few gold and maybe 30 silvers. They discussed jitneys, and horses, and they joked about how they should have kept the stilts. Then they asked me, since this was such an industrial area, if there were mechanized vehicles. I hadn’t really thought about that, but I said, “Yeah, of course!” and they said they were going to start looking for a place. They wandered for awhile again, seeing no one, and then I rolled an encounter about a chemical explosion. I said they were walking past this large building with three large bore pipe ends piercing the building and jutting out over the street. Suddenly there was a loud metallic banging and the pipes started vibrating and shuddering before a huge blast of green liquid inundated the streets and buildings across the way, and this included the party. They all rolled Dex checks and I set the DC at 15. They all failed.
He Said, She Said
I hadn’t really considered the effects of the explosion. I like to decide that in the heat of the moment. I pulled out an old D&D trope that I haven’t used literally since the early 90s, and that was the old D&D gender swap.
Yeah. All the brothers were now sisters and the sister was now a brother!
Cue uproar. They were laughing, and incredulous and talking about what-the-fuck and how-do-we-undo this, when I had the scientist who was responsible poke his head out of the window and start shouting how sorry he was and to wait there. A few moments later he comes down these stairs, lugging a huge barrel in both hands and sets it down with a slosh in front of them. I described it looking like milk and he, in broken English, told them to “Swim! Swim! All better!”
They shrugged and Archie took the first dip. He was reverted back to male according to a quick chart I drew up (I’ll recreate it below, and I only rolled once for everyone to experience the same effect). Walter became male again. Flinch became male again, but his race changed to Gnome. Vice was male again but his race was changed to Dwarf. Kheign decided to remain female. Violet became female again. They got into a huge debate/argument with the guy and ended up killing him and exploring his workshop where they found a small creature in a cage (which was a Homunculus ). The looted a few things, and Flinch found a Ring of Jumping (I gave it 3 charges). Then they took the creature down to the milk barrel and dunked it. I have no idea why. I had 2 Shadows emerge from the tank and they were doing some serious damage to the party. Kheign had his Strength reduced down to 5 from the Shadow’s necrotic attacks, and Walter had lost a few points as well, and I said that they would heal 1 Str. point per long rest, so they’ve got a ways to go before they are back in shape. The party got really beat up and I thought maybe they were going to go down, but they barely prevailed, killing 1 Shadow (which I described as “unraveling in space and a cleanly-cut half of the Homunculous falls to the ground with a wet splat”) and then the 2nd Shadow (also resulting in half-a-creature). They booked it from there.
- Teleport randomly 1 mile distant
- Cured! (50% chance racial change)
- Temporary ability to see the Spirit World
Taking a Test Drive
I felt the energy start to flag a bit. It had been a long day and I needed them to rally, so I said that they rounded a corner and saw a large building with 2 mechs standing outside on wheels. A sign over the building said “Trident Mechworks”. They said they needed to plan, and so I took a break, as I don’t always like to hear the party plots and schemes. Sometimes its more fun to try and be in the moment, and be as surprised as the NPCs. So I had a smoke or two and when I came back they were still debating, so I let them go for a few minutes with my fingers in my ears 🙂
They said they were ready. 3 of them would go in and 3 would stay outside and keep watch. Archie, Walter, and Flinch entered the dealership. I described the location.
This vast interior looks like a showroom for mechs, droids, and drones. There are dual-wheeled platform scooters, four-wheeled enclosed wagons, three-wheeled open-top buggies and 1 huge six-wheeled armored vehicle. There is a large double door at the back of the space and directly in front of you, painted on the floor, is a large circle in red. A bearded and smiling man comes rolling out of the back of the showroom on a two-wheeled platform and says, “Yyyyyyyyyyyesssss? How may I help you?”
I didn’t know what the big red circle was for. I really didn’t. I like to drop in scenery that I don’t know what its for at the time. This usually always helps me out when I need something later on and I can grab this odd thing I dropped it and give it meaning. It works really well for me. Anyway. We’ll come back to the circle in a bit. Just wanted to point that out. None of this was planned, I was just mind-painting as I went, and wondering what the scam was going to be.
The party asked about four-wheeled vehicles and maybe taking one for a test drive. Ah-a! So that was the plan. Ok. I said, “Sure, of course, come with me, please” and escorted them through the double doors at the back of the showroom. This was the workshop and there were half-a-dozen engineers and mechanics working on various orders, most in a half-built state. There was a single buggy, without doors. The salesman said they could take this for a test drive. The party smiled and agreed!
Archie asked what the startup sequence was, and was given a long code. I think I said, Green, Green, Red, 1-2-4, or something like that. Channeling Fury Road maybe 🙂
So they got in. They started it up. And they asked about the test drive? And the salesman smiled, as I did, as I realized what the red circle was for, and the salesman pushed a button on his belt and I said that he started to grow large, getting taller by the second, until he was giant sized. Then he reached over and plucked the buggy up like it was a toy and carried them through the warehouse, out into the showroom, and placed them down in the red circle. I was speaking to them in a stupid voice, slow and echo-y, trying to mimic size I guess, but it worked okay. I said, “Drive! Drive!” and they did. Archie asked what happens if they try to get outside of the red circle, and I said they bumped into a force field. He scowled.
I realized I had ruined their plans. But it looked like I had this prepared already. Because of the red circle. See? That’s what I mean. I had this thing I could use to solve a problem that I didn’t know I had yet. I urge you to try doing this. Anyway.
They had their drive and then the giant salesman took them back to the warehouse and he became his normal size again. They thought he grew. But what happened is that they were shrunk. They asked about the cost, which was 5000 gp, an amount that might as well be a million, and talked about the security code. Archie said, “I assume the starting sequence is reset after every test drive.” Which I hadn’t even considered at all, but I’m not stupid and I said, “Yes, of course, standard procedure.” and they said they were going to go and get a deposit so they could hold the vehicle. The salesman agreed to that, and said 1000 gp would do it. Then they left.
While this was all going on, I had the others that were outside get confronted by The Wrench, another street gang, but they just flashed their gauntlets and since I had already fucked up, I had these guys back off too.
So I thwarted their plan to flat out steal the buggy. I didn’t mean to, but I did. I don’t feel bad about it. It seemed a natural response to a plan that probably wasn’t that well-thought out to begin with (sorry, guys). Had they done some surveillance, maybe got some intel from the workers, and planned it out like a real heist, then yeah, I would have rolled with it. But they kept arguing among themselves about getting on with the Gauntlet (especially since I had shown them a few dogs just watching them from nearby rooftops over the past 2 days), and in the end, they rushed the heist and ended up abandoning the idea altogether, which was a shame.
They consulted the maps again and they mentioned the railway that’s shown. I told them a bit about the rail lines at the Scribbler’s Guild – that there is still a functioning train in the city, but its always taken by a strong gang and they roll around in it, terrorizing people. It does change hands from time to time, but there’s no way of knowing where the train is in the city and even though the chance is slim, they decide to try and head for the abandoned railyard to the South (you can see this on the Jumble map, just below West Metal).
What’s Your Man of Choice?
As they are walking along, I rolled an encounter. It was a Jumble one, and I plucked a Jumble Crazy at random from my head, and chose Hhhelll Junkies. I told Archie that as he was walking he suddenly started growing larger and larger, giant size, and his family was getting smaller and smaller. I said that he heard voices from behind him. I made these guttural and deep. “H-HA-H-HA SO TENDER AND JUICY”
I described two humanoid creatures. Their arms where their legs should be, their legs where their arms should be, and their faces are upside down, except for their mouths.
These creatures see humanity as a narcotic. They inject bone marrow, grind up bones and snort them, dry the flesh and smoke it. Creepy fuckin things. Archie lost it. I had one get right in his face and say “GRIND AND SNORT AND SMOKE!” and took a huge SNIFFFFFFFFF of Archie, and then he was suddenly thrown out of the Jumble by Umbruk himself, since Archie was now known to him, and he roared, “YOUR TRIBUTE IS LATE!” – meaning he hadn’t picked a new vendetta, as per his faith. I wasn’t going to kill anyone with Jumble Crazies. They were just to scare, and hurt, and introduce weirdness. Sometimes there would be drawbacks, or curses, but that’s all part of the fun. Archie came back to the real world and I said that he had this overwhelming urge for blood (the Hhhelll Junkie had taken half of his in one snort). At that second, a mech rolls up on them.
A patrol mech, sanctioned by The Spark, halts and says “YOU. ARE. IN. VIOLATION. OF. CURFEW.” and the party goes apeshit on this thing. Flinch and Vice both climb nearby buildings and snipe it, while Kheign, Archie, and Walter start attacking its legs. Violet, dear Violet, she’s quiet but she’s always doing interesting things, and I really like her character. She pulls out one of the slimes that she harvested earlier and tosses it at the mech, but she misses and the vial hits the street and shatters, dropping the slime in front of it. This is a modified Green Slime, not as deadly as the 1e version, and not exactly to spec in 5e either. I made them only hungry for organic material, and so it was going to ignore the mech and attack the party. Violet, however, tosses a second vial at the mech and this time it hits it in its chest, and it will drop to the street in the next round. She was not happy and surprised that nothing was happening. Her day was about to get a lot worse, because the mech, which had been firing off Magic Missiles at the party, instead shoots a weighted net at Violet, and she gets wrapped up like Frodo did meeting Shelob. She’s helpless and she’s suddenly got a slime on her. Things were looking dour.
At this moment, Archie has kicked in someone’s door and was drinking blood from arterial spray. Nasty. He got a bellyful and I had him roll some Con checks to keep from throwing up. He rejoined the battle right at the end.
The slimes are divided, twice, but they are weaker versions, and the party manages to put them down, but not before everyone is looking extremely ragged, no one above 1/4 max HP. No healing potions. Only natural healing through rest was going to help. I said that there were 3 drones approaching from the sky, and they took off, zigging and zagging and they managed to lose them, but not until an exhausting chase has them knackered. They need to sleep. What did they do? They kicked in six doors, murdered six people, and took six naps.
That’s where we wrapped.